Lavender: Night & Day Café, Manchester

Night and Day Café saw another busy Friday evening as Salford’s newest Psych band Lavender launched their very first EP “Supreme Foliage”.

It’s always refreshing to go to a gig where the band doesn’t yet have the biggest following, but the audience is still gripped and fully invested in the performance regardless of their newbie status. This was the case for both support bands, The Bleachés and PSYBLINGS, and for headliner’s Lavender when they took the stage.

Despite not being able to find a spare seat upon arriving to the venue, the seats slowly emptied as people made their way up to the front of the stage for The Bleachés set, and by the opening note of PSYBLINGS set nearly every seat was empty which continued through to Lavender’s performance.

Female-lead band The Bleachés opened the evening with their grunge take on psychedelic music. I later found out that this was their first ever live performance which is most definitely to their credit as I couldn’t fault them. They appeared confident on stage and their music sounded great, a young band with a bright future.

PSYBLINGS played their newest single ‘Where’s Your Moon’ released earlier this summer, which received a warm reception from the crowd. Similar to The Bleachés, they have taken psychedelia to a much grittier place, creating quite an original sound for themselves. Vocalist Greg Dixon didn’t portray himself in the most positive way immediately, muttering what can only be described as a very colourful and offensive vocabulary down the mic, however as the set went on, watching him climb on speakers and throw himself around the stage, the audience warmed to him as he became slightly more endearing rather than arrogant. The rest of the band didn’t have too much interaction with the many onlookers they were facing, with the exception of when their guitarist snapped a string mid set and had to make a plea to the audience in the case that someone may be carrying a spare string with them. As expected, the answer to that was no, so they continued one string down. This didn’t phase the band however, they continued with as much enthusiasm as before and sounded equally as well rehearsed.

The crowd were well warmed up for the arrival of Lavender following the supporting set, leaving the headliners with big shoes to fill. Luckily, they’d already gone some way in winning the crowd over, as they had created packs to give to the first 50 people on arrival consisting of a copy of their new 5-track EP; a ‘Lavender’ sticker; and a packet of sweets.

Lavender definitely filled the expectations of the riled up crowd with their very northern, funk sounding, psychedelic tunes. It was the perfect mix of airy psychedelia melodies combined with classic indie rock ‘n’ roll guitar music with down to earth northern sounding vocals, which fitted in well with the genre of the venue.

It was a proper ‘Friday night’ in Night and Day café, everyone arrived with hopes of a great night to end the week, which for the bands on show on such an evening can be a very daunting prospect as it can only go one of two ways. Thankfully for both the audience and the bands, Lavender, PSYBLINGS, and The Bleachés fitted the expectations of the crowds and gave everyone the great night they had hoped for. All three bands are very young talents, who have large potentials if they continue in the direction they are heading.

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